Who says Monaco will be a race where it becomes a procession or a 'follow the leader race'? This time the 2010 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix was action packed and there was action down to the wire. The final two laps were run under a safety car and just before the end of the final lap, the safety car pulled in and there was even an overtaking move made by Michael Schumacher on Fernando Alonso, which he somehow managed to pull off.
Pole sitter Mark Webber won this race which was totally action filled. Sebastian Vettel made it a 1-2 finish with Robert Kubica of Renault coming in third. The Monaco street circuit is a yearly glamour event for the F1 circus. You get to see movie stars, billionaires and pop singers aside from the usual motorsport people. The tight circuit is somehow loved by the drivers as it requires a lot more concentration due to the narrow track and the barriers.
The race started with Webber blasting away from the lead while Robert Kubica of Renault tries to hold off Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, but he can't do it and it's a Red Bull 1-2 through the first corner. Ferrari's Massa is fourth ahead of McLaren's Hamilton followed by Barrichello, Schumacher, Rosberg, Liuzzi, Sutil, Button.
Although everyone made it past the first corner, Nico Hulkenberg, crashed at the exit of the tunnel causing the safety car to come out and also causing Jenson Button of McLaren to retire from a cooked engine (pic above) (caused by the slower safety car speeds and an error by the McLaren team on failing to remove an engine cover). This was the first of four safety car incidents.
The second one was in lap 32 when Rubens Barrichello decided to stuff his Williams into the barrier. The third was when a drain cover coming lose at around lap 44. The final one was a real stunner in itself but it also caused another interesting event to happen, which I will get to right after this.
The final safety car incident was caused on lap 76, two laps before the end. Jarno Trulli of Lotus tried to take Force India's Chandhok but hit him and the Lotus was airborne and landed on Chandhok's car. By this time everyone thought that the race would end with a safety car and with all the positions already settled. But Michael Schumacher had other ideas and right at the end, just after the safety car had pulled in he overtook Fernando Alonso to clinch sixth. I mean, if you blinked or started to rush for the loo, you'd miss it. Alonso must be miffed, as he started last from the pits, made his way though all the backmarkers and then at the last corner get taken by Schumacher. Then again, being seventh from last is a fabulous result anyway.
Webber and Vettel are now tied in the Drivers' standings on 78 points each and Red Bull hold a 20-point advantage over second placed Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship.
It was a great race at Monaco this weekend. Four safety car incidents, lots of crashes, tactics and last minute action made it a great race. Actually, having more chances to view that new Mercedes SLS Safety car is a good thing too.
POST RACE UPDATE: Michael Schumacher was demoted from 6th to 12th for his overtaking move which was deemed as illegal after a post race investigation. Mercedes will not appeal the result of the investigation. Tough luck Schummi!
1. Webber -Red Bull-Renault 1h50:00.000
2. Vettel -Red Bull-Renault + 0.448
3. Kubica -Renault + 1.600
4. Massa -Ferrari + 2.600
5. Hamilton -McLaren-Mercedes + 4.300
6. Schumacher -Mercedes + 5.700
7. Alonso -Ferrari + 6.300
8. Rosberg -Mercedes + 6.600
9. Sutil -Force India-Mercedes + 6.900
10. Liuzzi -Force India-Mercedes + 7.300
11. Buemi -Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 8.100
12. Alguersuari -Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 9.100
13. Petrov -Renault + 4 laps
Hulkenberg - lap 1 - crash
Button - lap 3 - engine failure
De la Rosa - lap 23 - mechanical
Glock - lap 24 - suspension
Kobayashi - lap 27 - technical
Di Grassi - lap 28 - hydraulics
Barrichello - lap 31 - crash
Senna - lap 62 - mechanical
Kovalainen - lap 62 - technical
Trulli - lap 75 - crash
Chandhok - lap 75 - crash
Petrov - lap 76 - wheel problem
Sources: Free TV and PlanetF1.com (for the pics)